Peyton Manning: America’s most likeable athlete

peyton leadsPeyton Manning is arguably the greatest quarterback to ever play in the NFL.   Sure, Joe Montana’s got four Super Bowl rings, Tom Brady has his three and Johnny Unitas and others before him redefined the game vertically.  But Peyton Manning has a record four MVP awards and may very well be on the way to his fifth.   He is only 30 touchdowns and about 7,000 passing yards behind Brett Favre, who is the career leader in both those categories.  Peyton will claim both those records within two more seasons.

But more than all that Peyton is a likeable guy.  He’s never out womanizing, driving intoxicated or taking drugs to enhance his performance.  He is a student of the game and one of the most respected, if not feared, athletes in the league.  There’s a reason Colts fans mourned his departure like the passing of a good friend.  When he lost the entire 2011 season due to multiple neck surgeries, a nation of football fans shuddered and wondered if he’d ever be the same.  Memo to those fans:  he may be better than ever before.

peyton beanieNobody ever has a bad word to say about Peyton, that is, until he plays in the cold weather.

After a Denver Broncos loss to the New England Patriots in wintery Foxboro weather two weeks ago, and a sub-par game by Manning standards, out came the boo birds.  He can’t throw in cold weather, the critics said.  He can’t throw with gloves on, they continued.  The weather, and a potential frigid Super Bowl XLVIII in New York City, will ultimately be Peyton’s demise.

Well, Peyton has an answer for those critics, which is just another reason we like him so much.

“Whoever wrote that narrative can shove it where the sun don’t shine,” Peyton told a local radio station of his cold weather critics.  That’s just Peyton being Peyton.  He’s got that quirky, Southern sense of humor and he’s not afraid to speak his mind.  Not only is he reinventing the game in his own right, at 37, he’s still the best quarterback in a league full of pretty darn good ones, and he’s his own worst critic.  To hell with the others.

peyton cartoonEvery Broncos game is a must watch to see how pinpoint accurate this guy can be and how he shreds opposing defenses so effortlessly.  However, don’t be fooled.  There is effort, probably more than anyone who’s ever played the game.  There’s not a moment on the sidelines where you can’t find Peyton studying photos of opposing defenses or coaching up a teammate.  He’s jokingly referred to as the best offensive coordinator in the league.  The worst thing we can say about him is that his Poppa John’s commercials are lame and that’s probably only because Poppa John is holding him back.

His sound bites are as entertaining as his passing game.  His SNL United Way skit was one of their funniest shorts ever.  Whoever publicly proclaimed he can’t play in cold weather must now be secretly hiding with their tails between their legs, especially after the last two weeks.  He went into Kansas City to beat the Chiefs, passing for 403 yards in the process and after a sluggish start against the Titans this week, Peyton got hot (in the cold, with gloves on) and threw for four more touchdown passes and another four hundred yards.  The Broncos put up fifty plus points (for the third time this season) reminding the Titans that they’re the Titans.

So let’s enjoy him while we got him and the fact that we still have a few athletes left as role models to look up to.  A determined Peyton can be a very scary thing.  He’s got about three more years of playing at the highest level.  When that time comes and Peyton leaves the league gracefully as he likely will, if there was ever any doubt as to whom the best to ever throw the pigskin around the yard is, another MVP and Super Bowl trophy will make that question a lot easier to answer.

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27 Replies to “Peyton Manning: America’s most likeable athlete”

  1. That’s true, Yazoo. Although we always had his number.

    Hey, you going to the Kansas game tonight? I’ll be up there. Let me know if anyone has any extra tickets.

  2. My feelers have been out for ’bout a week…no charity and nothin’ in my price range, so kiss all the Dazzlers for me, I’ll look for ya on the tube.

  3. Yazoo…

    Will do. I think I just landed some. Will be hittin’ Lil’s for pregame and maybe the bar formerly known as the Porpoise for post.

    Maybe I’ll catch ya’. Text me if you’re out and about.

  4. Those were fun days, Donny C.

    I still remember when Sports Illustrated traveled to Knoxville to do their cover story on Manning and ended up doing it on Danny Wuerffel instead.

  5. Chris, no doubt onea the best ever. Can read a defense better than the Mentalist. Btw, whatever happened to that sexual episode with the Vol female manager while he was at Tenn?

  6. Peyton is the greatest quarterback, bar none, to ever have played the game.

    He doesn’t dissect defenses. He directs them to line up where he wants them, not where they want to be.

    Then he attacks like a general on a battlefield until the enemy just gives up.

    He is as prepared as Martin Scorsese and as attentive to detail as Vince Lombardi.

    There is not any credible football person around who would not agree with your spot-on assessment of this once-in-a-lifetime gem!

  7. Lifelong, I mean since the mid-50’s, 49er fan. There were so many lean years early on but I was just stubborn enough to stick with them. Then DeBartolo bought the team and had the good sense to bring in Bill Walsh who in term drafted a skinny legged, too small, too weak armed quarterback that the rest of the league passed on for over 80 selections in the 1979 draft. All this kid had going for him was a will to win. And win he did and he initially did it with little of a supporting cast while playing in an NFL that didn’t put skirts on the quarterbacks. He played on one of the worst fields ever in the NFL usually in a swirling wind and yet he continued to win… And so these days I hear how Joe Montana had this great supporting cast as if he really wasn’t all that great.

    And now, 40 years later, we have this prototypical QB who played most of his career in an indoor stadium under rules that don’t allow the opponents to take their shot and he throws for more yards and more TDs than almost anyone else… But it’s like the old lady many years ago said… “Where’s the beef?” (Super Bowl rings). Yeah Peyton’s a great QB and a great person…

  8. Ladies and gentlemen…

    For those of you who may disagree with me, rest assured that over the years, Jim has watched more football than any of us, so when he says I’m right, I’m right.

  9. Manning should deservedly win his fifth league MVP award , but it’s decided upon by the writers , who tend to be blinded by their sheer arrogance and idiocy .

    A new era is about to begin with the Longhorns’ football program with the resignation of Mack Brown and the retirement of AD DeLoss Dodds earlier this year . Now who’s going to look after the $200 million annually that the football program rakes in ? Will they , Longhorns’ President Bill Powers make a run for Nick Saban or even Jon Gruden ?

    Mike Shanahan must really need that $7 million due next season if he’s looking for Dan Snyder to fire him . He’s decided to demote RGIII to #3 on the team’s depth chart behind Kirk Cousins and Rex Grossman . Cousins I can understand , but Grossman ?

    Trust is something that has to be earned and it says a great deal about the relationship between star player and a coach ….. .

    tophatal ……………

  10. I don’t think the MVP is a done deal, Al. Russell Wilson has had himself a pretty damn good season.

    Let the rumors begin about who will take Mack Brown’s place or if he’s even retiring. Are they forcing him out a la Bobby Bowden? I know one thing’s for sure. There’s a lot of people in Gainesville willing to give back Will Muschamp.

    This should be an interesting off-season for the Redskins. What are the odds that both Shanahan and RGIII return and is that something that ‘Skins fans even want?

  11. Klanahan said he might shut down RG3 for the remainder of the year. Washington DC is known for shutting down guys for future dreams. That worked out well with Strasburg didn’t it. GM Rizzo was looking to cover his butt. RG3 is battered and bruised both mentally and physically. Play calling has caught up with the kid’s body.

  12. Chris

    Mack Brown isn’t being forced out by any stretch of the imagination . His age and family issues have been the prevailing factor in recent years . I mean he and former AD De- Loss Dodds finagled that ESPN deal that will see the program have revenues exceeding over $2.6 billion over the next ten years . Not even the mighty Notre Dame can even touch that in terms of their revenues or tv deal with NBC Universal .

    Look I hear there’s a rumor about that Gators’ boosters would gladly send Muschamp back in exchange of some Texas cattle and a pop tart.

    As good as Russell Wilson has been for the Sehawks this season , there’s no way in hell , he will beat out Peyton Manning for the League MVP .

    NFL QB stats 2014

    Roger Goodell has now approached the IFA (International Football Association) with a view to getting the NFL and sport of football become an exhibition sport at a future Summer Olympic Games . LOL,LOL,LOL !!! Not long ago there wee rumors that dwarf tossing would also become an exhibition event . If that were to happen where would the preponderance of the game officials actually be from ? Goodell remains a buffoon on so many issues as it relates to the NFL , that only an @ss would take the guy seriously .

    tophatal ……………

  13. Chris

    If Nick Saban bolts for vacant position in Texas , what’s the worst thing that the Tide fans can do to him in your honest opinion ? This was the very same Nick Saban who prior coming to Tuscaloosa , told the local press in Miami that he had no interest in the vacant Alabama coaching position . All the while , his agent had been in negotiations with the program behind closed doors , when he hadn’t resigned his position with the Dolphins . Nick Saban a guy with great deal of class and integrity , when it suits his own sense of moral well-being .

    “Nick we’re reading your lips and can you for the record , tell us , if you have even a passing interest in the vacant Longhorns’ position ” ? ‘ Read my lips I’ve no interest in the vacant head coaching position with the Texas Longhorns’ program ‘ ! Nick Saban


    tophatal …………

  14. Chris

    Comparing the two players’ stats , Manning’s against Wilson’s and who would you deem to have had the better season at this juncture ?

    Read my lips Nick Saban , if he can get the go ahead from his wife may well bolt out of Tuscaloosa and head West to Texas and unto the Longhorns’ campus .

    How’d you feel about the NFL being a possible exhibition sport in a future Summer Olympics ? That ought to be fun . LOL,LOL,LOL !!!

    tophatal …………

  15. Bets…

    I can see both sides of the story although who the hell can tell what’s really going on in DC right now.

    If RGIII is not 100%, then why risk injury? But as the PTI boys pointed out the other night, the kid still needs to work on his game so if he’s not hurt, let him go out there and chuck it around.

  16. All I’m saying about the Manning-Wilson debate is that Wilson has also led Seattle to a pretty strong season. You guys are right though. I think Manning will get the nod. His numbers are just too strong.

    Re: all the Saban talk, who’s to say? At 62, I don’t see him starting all over, even if it is for a ridiculous amount of money. It’s not like ‘Bama won’t match, or at least come close to matching, whatever Texas has to offer.

    I see him staying at ‘Bama BUT.. stranger things have happened.

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  18. The golden boy is just that.
    Let’s hope he never gets caught on hot mic going Incognito or otherwise….You know how Americans love to tear down what they build up.

    Either way, the dude is one of the best to do it on the field…Plus he’s super nice to his mongoliod little brother Eli.

  19. If he can play good for 2 years he’ll probably pay for hmiself especially if he can make the playoffs and if he can squeeze 1 super bowl out it will be viewed as a success no matter if it cost them money even after he’s gone. I want to say it was a huge risk because of his age and his neck but he’s one of those players that will still be better than most starters even if he is only 85 percent of him old self. It looks a whole lot like the Montana years when he went to KC. He still cranked out some good years after a bad injury. The big difference being it’s a neck which has the potential to flare up after only a few games or less. I would have to hear a doctor say that he will be able to throw the ball 30 times a game this year with no problems to be convinced they aren’t lying to the fans and themselves. I got a feeling at some point Manning is gonna keep a bag of ice on his neck and shoulder and will miss time.

  20. Mram…

    In a win now league, however, the Broncos made the right call.

    Manning had himself another record-setting season, probably won himself another MVP, and appears poised to win a Super Bowl.

    It’ll be fun to watch, that’s for sure. And when his career is over, the Broncos can go after whatever quarterback is available at the time.

    Kudos to John Elway and company for having the cojones to pull this off.

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